: Police have arrested two men on the charge of raping an Irula woman, who was working in a sugarcane field, at knifepoint, after overpowering her brother-in-law at Alupillaithangi village, near Padamathur in Sivaganga district.

Police said the 26 year-old woman, mother of three children, was cutting woods with her brother-in-law Ramachandran to build a temporary hut near the sugarcane field on Sunday evening, when S. Malaikannan (26) and S. Santhosh Kannan (23) appeared on the scene.

One of them pinned down Ramachandran and held him at knifepoint, while the other raped her, police said.

They took turns and raped her repeatedly, the woman told the police from her hospital bed.

Preliminary inquiries indicated that “both the accused had threatened and raped the victim. This is an absolutely forced rape,” Superintendent of Police Ashwin Kotnis said.

After registering a case on Sunday, the police swung into action and arrested the accused, he said.

They were charged under Sections 294(b), 323, 376 and 506 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code, read with 3(i) and (xii) of the SC/ST Act, 2014, the SP said.

They were produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody. Both were school drop-outs doing odd jobs. Malaikannan, a construction worker, had visa to go abroad on Tuesday, the SP said.

The victim had come with her husband and other workers to work in the field about two months ago. She had been with Ramachandran since April 21 after others returned to their native village to cast their votes in the April 24 Lok Sabha elections, he said.

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